By John DeCoste and Jason Malloy
Acadia is back on top of women’s basketball in Atlantic Canada for the first time in 60 years.
The Axewomen defeated the Cape Breton Capers 82-72 Sunday in Antigonish as part of an Axe sweep of the hoops titles. As the women celebrated word spread the Axemen had defeated St. F.X. 82-71 in Halifax.
Jasmine Parent said her team’s goal was clear from Day 1.
“We dreamed about it. We talked about it. We said we were going to win it, but to honestly win it, it’s unbelievable,” the fifth-year forward from Aylesford said. “It’s nice to know that hard work really does pay off.”
It is the first time since 1950-51 the Axewomen’s name will be on the Jeannie W. Leslie Trophy. It is a much different picture for the men, who won their 17th title since 1961.
Jonathan Tull said Monday the Axemen are approaching this week’s nationals in Halifax “one step at a time.
“We’re on the rise. The guys are passionate and really hungry,” he said. “We’re going to really try to make some noise in this tournament.”
Acadia president Ray Ivany watched the women’s game from behind the Acadia bench.
“This team, I think, has captured the imagination of the whole campus and the whole community. We’ve watched them all year and they just proved today why I think everybody believed in them all year long,” he said.
He was equally happy upon hearing the men had completed the sweep.
“We just got the news,” he said.
“I was just talking to our athletic director Kevin Dickie and he said it’s not common in Canada to get two conference wins, so good day for Acadia.”
Acadia Axewomen teammates Jasmine Parent, left, and Abbey Duinker celebrate their Atlantic conference basketball championship March 4 in Antigonish. The men also claimed first place with a win in Halifax.